Chapter 38

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The training for special forces raid responses includes diverse educational modules, covering reactions to gunfire and optimal strategies following the successful detection of a line of fire. This training also incorporates the analysis of terrain, enemy numbers, and weaponry through various field exercises.

However, Ivan’s preparation for Isabelle boiled down to one thing: the most straightforward and fundamental approach – “Attack until countered.” Thus, Ivan sat quietly in a tree, raising his gun. Beyond the aiming point, Isabelle’s confident figure appeared, showing no intention of concealment.

– Click.

He aligned the sights and, just before pulling the trigger, let the aiming point slip.

– Bang!

The challenge with relying on a line of fire detection lies in the need to develop complete trust in one’s senses.

Detecting the line of fire involves a sensory skill akin to intuition, and without depending on sight and hearing, executing appropriate reactions becomes unattainable.

“Ah!” (Isabelle)

“…Missed.” Ivan sighed as he observed Isabelle hastily lowering her head, screaming in the distance.

Even though the shot clearly missed, Isabelle attempted to dodge, causing an imbalance that exposed a vulnerability.

– Click, Bang—!!

Seizing the opportunity, he fired again, this time aiming for her forehead.

Successfully avoiding the shot, Isabelle looked at the bullet hole in the tree, trembling.

“Bullet! Shoot it at my head! Seriously?!” (Isabelle)

Soon, she opened her eyes. The blazing eyes were precisely aimed at where Ivan was hiding.

“You’re getting better.” (Ivan)

Feeling proud in a typical training instructor manner, Ivan nodded.

He quickly left the hiding spot.

“Haha, ahaha. I’ll really kill you.” (Isabelle)

Isabelle, gripping the sword tightly, walked shakily.

A bullet aimed at the forehead…?

“I must be insane. I’m foolish. I messed up, yeah. It’s my fault, whatever.”

Was it due to her enthusiasm for training in the forest where ‘that incident’ occurred?

Or was it because, despite her abrupt request for help, he willingly put everything aside and agreed to assist?

Yeah, it’s all my fault, whatever.

The imagine of winging the sword casually a few times, laughing joyfully, and receiving some feedback…

Talking about what happened that day as if it’s now just a memory.

At such times, preparing sandwiches to share, putting on her favorite clothes, and even trying makeup that she rarely did for no reason.

Yeah.

I’m a complete fool.

– Click.

Gripping the sword handle tightly, taking one more step forward.

– Srrung.

Drawing the sword while raising it, the blade gleaming sharp, silently. But with a firm grip.

Thwang—!

– Ching!

Precisely intercepting the trajectory, deflecting the bullets.

“Really… really… you’re a dead meat! You!!” (Isabelle)

The righteous anger of a hero flared. She deflected every oncoming bullet and charged directly toward the source.

Where the bullets come from, there’s a shooter.

If I don’t get hit by the bullet, it’ll be fine.

Just one more hit. I can do this.1

***

She must be thinking like that.

Ivan quietly withdrew, looking straight at the charging Isabelle.

Finding a perfectly concealed agent in the shadows of the forest is a thing of the past. Even if there is a line of fire detection, nothing will change.

Since there’s a sniper at the end of the trajectory, the sniper must also be well aware of that fact.

“Second lesson, here it comes.” (Ivan)

Being an excellent instructor, Ivan prepared to deliver a considerate lesson.

Swinging the sword recklessly in anger and rushing forward, while the momentum was impressive, it was by no means a good choice.

Especially in an ‘ambush’ situation, he decided to teach that it’s the worst choice.

-Boom!

Ivan chuckled as he watched Isabelle step on a booby trap and get entangled in the explosion in the shadows of the forest.

***

“Good.” (Isabelle)

Isabelle, narrowly avoiding the explosion, brushed off the dirt falling straight onto her head and laughed.

“I will definitely kill you.” (Isabelle)

Just one more hit. I can do this? Such a clumsy thought only created this situation. Dealing with someone naive like her demands a good shake of the head.

Isabelle deflected flying bullets without even looking at them.

“Do you understand why the forest is more challenging now?” (Ivan)

A very calm voice reached her ears.

Squelch, the hand holding the sword tightened.

“Underground tunnels or bunkers have a linear maze structure. Artificial structures have their unique patterns. It means that the points for setting traps or launching ambushes are predetermined.” (Ivan)

The instruction continued. Of course, for her, these were valuable pieces of advice.

“But a forest has multiple features at the same time. Concealment and cover are easy, and it’s extremely difficult to notice traps in advance. Since it has a labyrinthine maze structure, guiding the target’s movement path is also easy.” (Ivan)

The teaching continued. Surrounding a few with many is like this.

Contrary to many misunderstandings, a siege is an act of restricting information on a tactical level. In reality, there’s no need for a dense encirclement or intense assault.

A few well-timed confrontations are sufficient. Forcing misjudgments on the opponent while maintaining an information advantage is the essence of a siege.

-Beyond that forest, numerous enemies are hiding.”

-Approach that forest, and you’ll be caught in an assault.

-There are no allies beyond that forest.

When such misjudgments accumulate, a siege by a minority is completed, undermining the command of the field commander.

Ivan quietly continued speaking, but suddenly stopped.

Isabelle, with her head bowed, was trembling.

“Uncle.” (Isabelle)

“Hmm?” (Ivan)

“Whew… Thank you. Thanks to you, my mind cleared up.” (Isabelle)

“Huh?” (Ivan)

Isabelle looked at a place where he might be with a lively smile on her face.

Considering the direction of the sound and the direction where the trajectory was detected, it must be this way.

She nodded, raising the sword handle.

– Raise the sword.

– For your principles, not your strength, raise the sword.

– Look at those like us with the eyes of the weak.

“Yes, I will do so.” (Isabelle)

Isabelle held the sword as if enchanted, taking a stance. Blue magic swirled around her body, sparkling and brightening the dark forest.

A refreshing wind rushed through the late spring forest.

“Hmm.”

Ivan gazed at her with shining eyes. The structure of magic, the circulation method—different, yet somehow reminiscent of Maxmillian.

He might have had a talent for teaching someone beyond what he thought. (Being an educator is determined by the student’s achievements.)

Ivan nodded willingly and lowered his gun. Isabelle’s senses had already fully blossomed. At this level, double shots to deceive line of fire detection were no longer effective.

By accelerating the nervous system with magic, refining the reaction speed of the entire body to the limit—an achievement known as the ‘battlefield of superhumans.’ They had reached the point where they could step on the boundary.

For those who reached this stage, projectile weapons no longer worked. This is because line of fire detection has developed almost to the level of foresight.

So.

– Srrung…

He raised the axe.

***

“Please… don’t leave..me…”

The train heading back to Frechenkaya. Ivan smiled as he looked down at the sleeping Isabelle.

Despite being covered in dust and minor injuries, with tattered clothes, she looked rather noble. Sitting down outside the window under the moonlight, her golden hair sparkled like a field of wheat.

*Thud, thud.* Breathing lightly, her head resting on his shoulder, the sleeping Isabelle seemed like a little kid of her age.

“Maxmillian.”

As the train rattled along the tracks, Ivan gently steadied Isabelle’s shaking head and whispered.

“You’ve got a wonderful daughter.”

***

– You have a wonderful daughter.

Isabelle clenched her hands inside her sleeves and pressed her lips together in an effort to keep them from unraveling.

She buried her cheek against his broad shoulder, careful not to show it.

*Rattle, rattle.* The train ran on the tracks.

The warm air inside the carriage flowed gently. The dimly lit interior was faintly visible to the slightly open eyes.

Moonlight poured through the window. The forest where they had trained today stretched out in the distance.

A romantic, sensible, and ignorant fool. A lunatic who covered a somewhat sympathetic face with a beard.

Still, still. It’s tolerable. Well, considering. After all, isn’t he the one who saved my life? Just that much. Not a premature liking, just that much.

Teach him common sense, and eventually, trim the beard.

Yes. Okay.

I feel like I’m building a person. Who’s going to pick up this poor guy if not me. It’s like… the chivalrous spirit of ‘service.’ That’s what it is.

***

There is a unit with a long and proud history and tradition, called the 7th Engineer Platoon of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Company, under the command of the 5th Dragon General.

They whipped the slaves to encourage them; a man quietly raised his binocular.

“Seriously, what on earth were they fighting about?”

“It must be a difference of opinion, comrade!”

“Do you shoot bullets and explode bombs when you disagree with someone, comrade?”

“No, comrade!”

The three ambush points collapsed completely due to the target’s unexpected visit and the ensuing battle. Oh, in the days when the great 5th Dragon General was alive, there was no such shoddy construction! The platoon leader was disappointed.

In most cases, when a platoon leader is disappointed, they tend to look for the problem within the unit.

And in most cases, this attempt always produces the desired effect. The beautiful culture of “tough love” is embedded in all armies around the world, even in demons and dwarves.

“The Shadow Blade’s little game is only a week away. Comrades, rebuild the collapsed points and prepare for it with all your might!”

“Yes, comrade!!”

A dwarf with graying beard gave a salute and then walked out with a heavy tread.

Dwarves are masters of civil engineering. Civil engineering includes tunneling. And based on syllogism, the following statement is true.

Dwarves can hide anywhere there is land.

This is why Ivan calls them rats.

At a time when Enrique’s exam was only a week away, Frechenkaya was still peaceful.

(TN: The Dwarf race is part of the Demon King faction. The training between Ivan and Isabelle damages the tunnel they created, forcing them to painstakingly rebuild it for the ambush plan when Enrique will test the students.)


1. The first sentence, “진짜 딱 한 번만.” translates to “Just one more time, really.” This is a phrase of determination and resolve, often used in a situation where someone is facing a dangerous or difficult situation. The speaker is expressing their belief that they can overcome the challenge, even if it is only for one more time.

The second sentence, “딱 한 대만 때리자. 그렇게 생각하며.” translates to “I thought, ‘Just one more hit.'” This is a continuation of the speaker’s determination and resolve. They are still focused on overcoming the challenge, even though they know it will be difficult.

The phrase is often used in Korean movies and TV shows to create a sense of drama and suspense.

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